18 Things for Photographers to do During Slow Season
Love it or hate it, slow season is BACK! For most photographers, the winter months mean a lot less inquiries and emails and appointments to manage. Fall is typically such a crazy time, many of us look forward to those quiet, slow days where we can recover from ‘busy season’. But, as most entrepreneurs are driven work horses, after a few weeks (days, or maybe even hours!) of the slow life, we start wondering if anyone will ever hire us again, where everyone went and just WHAT ON EARTH are we supposed to do with all of this TIME?!
I am here with EIGHTEEN ideas for things to keep you super busy during that dreaded slow season! Because if you are working ON your business during the times you aren’t working IN your business, there should never be a ‘SLOW’ season, just seasons for different parts of running your photography business!
Clean Out Your Inbox - Ever heard of INBOX 0? In short, it’s getting that email inbox down to ZERO! When was the last time you had a nice clean, empty inbox free of clutter?
Take New Head shots - Whether you trade with other local photographers and make it a fun event or you go the self portrait route, slow season is the perfect time to update that outdated headshot. You do want your potential new clients to know what current you looks like, not you 2 kids and 6 years ago, right?!
Revamp Your Website - Chances are, you haven’t updated your website in quite some time. You probably have plenty of amazing new images to show off and you have some outdated information on there. Whether you want to create an entirely new website, give your old one a small facelift or just update the details, it’s always good to keep the content fresh and relevant on your site.
Give Back - Find good causes you can get involved in locally or charities and auctions that are coming up you want to be involved with. Is there an event you can contact about donating your time and services too or maybe a package for a silent auction for a session with you?
Get Your Gear Cleaned - I mean, you aren’t using it anyways…
Start an Email List - You’ve head about them, you’ve thought about it…but you have put it off for far too long! I love my email list and know it’s a great way to keep in touch with clients! Time to find a service like MailChimp, sign up and get it all set up and ready to use in the new year. Already have one? Then update your opt in pages and make sure everything is current.
Blog - Blog, blog, blog. I have yet to meet a photographer who really keeps up on blogging like they should. I am sure you are out there somewhere magical unicorn blogging photographer….but if that isn’t you, then blog your heart out. Just because the session is ‘old’ (from a few months ago, let’s not go back years!) to you doesn’t mean it’s old to your followers and potential new clients!
Update Contracts & Questionnaires - It’s a great time to update all those annoying things like contracts and questionnaires. Chances are you’ve learned some things you need or want to change in your business, so you need to make sure all of your documents are up to date and ready for booking and to be used by upcoming clients.
Rebrand - If you are ready for a fresh new look, get in touch with a designer or if you are feeling creative, hop on Etsy or Creative Market and begin the rebranding DIY process!
Goal Planning - The end of the year means the beginning of a new one! Which means, it’s time to make some new year goals and plans! Whether you are updating your business plan or filling out some goal worksheets, it’s always good to give yourself some motivation on things you hope to accomplish for that extra push.
Build Partnerships - A great way to market is by working with other businesses and brands, so figure out who your photography business best aligns with and reach out about collaborating!
Host a Class - Last year I hosted a DSLR class for Mom’s and it was honestly a lot of fun! It was very simple content, and I rented out a small meeting room at a local coffee shop. It was a great way to make a little extra during slow season and spend some time with my clients face to face and meet a few new people.
Get a jump on taxes - Like it or not, April 15th WILL RETURN. Don’t be one of those people struggling to input all of your information days before. Handle it now and get it off your plate while you have the extra time!
Invest in Education - Slow season is the absolute best time to invest back in yourself! Whether you look into a mentorship, in person workshop or take an online course, take the time to learn something new.
Practice Your Craft - Piggybacking off of #14, work on personal projects. Photograph your own family more, take self portraits and just practice, practice, practice. Work on honing in on your skills!
Plan Out Your Year - I always make it a point to schedule myself time off so that I don’t get too booked up and forget. Make sure to schedule some vacations and days off but also plan out and schedule special events and sessions you may hold.
Gather Reviews - Contact past clients about leaving you a review on Google or another platform you use and have them fill out a feedback or customer satisfaction form. It can be a little scary to ask for feedback, but you can’t work on improving your business and learn what those love most about you if you don’t ask!
R E L A X - Yeah, it’s hard. But, burn out is a real thing and it’s nice to take advantage of the slow season to recharge those batteries! Take a break, organize and declutter your home, binge watch a Netfix show and spend time with your loved ones. They are, after all, the reason we do this!